Marlene Dietrich: The Bisexual, Anti-Fascist Face of Free Germany
Greta Garbo, and Monroe/Dietrich and DiMaggio
Today’s Google Doodle is the iconic Marlene Dietrich honoring her on what would have been her 116th birthday. Dietrich was a German actress whose career spanned nearly eighty years, she was able to reinvent herself time and time again to keep up with and stay ahead of the trends.
oh hey, Google tells me today would have been the 116th birthday of my favourite bisexual anti-fascist, Marlene Dietrich! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/I0juFEt70D
— Anna Landin 🔥 🐐 🔥 (@AnnaLandin) December 27, 2017
Dietrich started off as a silent film star in the 1920s in Germany and immigrated to Hollywood in the 30s due to the success of The Blue Angel, a UFA/Paramount Pictures production.
One of the things she was well known for in Hollywood was her gender norm-bashing. Dietrich was often dressed in men’s suits and was a bisexual woman with one of her most famous relationships being with Mercedes de Acosta, a Cuban lesbian playwright. Dietrich was also known to use the term “sewing circle” to refer to “describe the underground, closeted lesbian and bisexual film actresses and their relationships in Hollywood, United States, particularly during Hollywood’s golden age from the 1910s to the 1950s” according to Alex Madsen in the book The Sewing Circle: Hollywood’s Greatest Secret: Female Stars Who Loved Other Women.
The film Morocco, which is the one the doodle is modeled off of features the first lesbian kiss scene in a Hollywood movie back in 1930.
During WWII she was a high-profile entertainer in the US and was also noted for housing German and French exiles. She was outspoken about being opposed to Nazism and Hitler, to the point where the Nazi government tried to lure her back to Germany several times in order to silence her. Instead, Dietrich filed for U.S. citizenship, sold war bonds, gave anti-Nazis broadcasts in German, and helped people escape Germany when she could.
— CIA (@CIA) June 27, 2017
The doodle itself was drawn by RuPaul Drag Race legend, Sasha Velour, who is a huge fan of Ms. Dietrich.
I was so honored to create the artwork for today’s Google Doodle to honor Marlene Dietrich’s 116th Birthday. She’s a true icon. https://t.co/KGMb5OXZBv
— Sasha Velour (@sasha_velour) December 27, 2017
“She was a wild original!” Sasha said. “Despite the pressures of the time, she followed her own course, especially in terms of politics and gender.“As a drag queen, that’s particularly inspiring to me. Plus, she just had this power to her…in every role she’s mysterious and strong, brilliant. That’s what I aspire to be when I step on the stage.”
Dietrich’s legacy to film and fashion and queer identity in Hollywood remains iconic long after her death at the age of 90 in 1992. She was a woman with big energy and big appetites for love and passion. It is no wonder we are still talking about her today.
“CAMERA: A friend of mine.
We understood each other.”
— From Marlene Dietrich’s ABC. Dietrich, a proud Capricorn, was born Dec. 27, 1901. pic.twitter.com/DeBtJEczuA
— Farran Nehme (@selfstyledsiren) December 26, 2017
Marlene Dietrich, who was queer, got her start as a drag king in Berlin cabarets during the 1920s. She shared the first lesbian kiss in a Hollywood film (Morocco, 1930). During WWII, she offered to go undercover and seduce and assassinate Hitler. Happy birthday, Dietrich! pic.twitter.com/03ecqfasub
— Morgan M Page (@morganmpage) December 27, 2017
(image: Google/Sasha Velour)
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